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From Latin reluctāns, present participle of reluctor (to struggle against, oppose, resist), from re- (back) + luctor (to struggle).


  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈlʌktənt/
  • (file)


reluctant (comparative more reluctant, superlative most reluctant)

  1. (now rare) Opposing; offering resistance (to).
    • 1819 July 15, [Lord Byron], Don Juan, London: [] Thomas Davison, [], OCLC 560103767, canto II, stanza 108:
      There, breathless, with his digging nails he clung / Fast to the sand, lest the returning wave, / From whose reluctant roar his life he wrung, / Should suck him back to her insatiate grave [...].
    • 2008, Kern Alexander et al., The World Trade Organization and Trade in Services, page 222:
      They are reluctant to the inclusion of a necessity test, especially of a horizontal nature, and emphasize, instead, the importance of procedural disciplines [...].
  2. Not wanting to take some action; unwilling.
    She was reluctant to lend him the money
    Surprisingly, our new dog is a reluctant ball-retriever.
  3. (regular expressions) Tending to match as little text as possible.
    Antonym: greedy


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